Asian stocks, currencies slide ahead of big central bank meetings

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  • China detects first Omicron case, shares tumble
  • HK-listed real estate developer Shimao Group in the spotlight
  • AfDB cuts 2021 and 2022 growth targets for developing Asia

December 14 (Reuters) – Emerging Asian equities and currencies fell on Tuesday as investors sold risky assets ahead of a series of key central bank meetings, while woes in China’s real estate sector also weighed on market sentiment.

A strong dollar (.DXY) has tied Asian currencies to expectations for the Federal Reserve to end its bond buying stimulus when its two-day review ends on Wednesday, paving the way for earlier rate hikes .

Indonesia and the Philippines are both expected to respect interest rates at central bank monetary policy meetings on Thursday, while the European Central Bank and Bank of England meet later today.

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“Risk markets retreated ahead of the series of central bank meetings scheduled for this week,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

“Containing inflation will be a priority for many, as will managing the risk posed by Omicron.”

The World Health Organization has said the Omicron variant of the coronavirus poses a “very high” global risk, while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned of a “tidal wave” of new cases of the coronavirus . Read more

Stocks in Indonesia (.JKSE), Malaysia (.KLSE), Thailand (.SETI) and Taiwan (.TWII) fell between 0.4% and 1%, after the decline in Chinese stocks (.SSEC) after the detection of the first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the countryside. Read more

Concerns over the financial health of real estate developer Shimao Group Holdings Ltd (0813.HK) added to the nervousness in the Hong Kong and Chinese markets.

The yuan, however, strengthened 0.1% on currency demand, even as a former senior official at China’s currency regulator warned the country should avoid an excessive appreciation of the currency. Read more

The Malaysian ringgit, South Korean won and Singaporean dollar lost 0.1% to 0.3%.

Manila-based Asian Development Bank slashed growth forecast for developing Asia for this year and next due to uncertainty over Omicron and slower growth at major trading partner of the region, China. Read more

Meanwhile, Manila stocks (.PSI) were the only big gainers of the day, up 0.3%, after the Philippine central bank pledged to continue supporting the economy for as long as necessary.

In a poll conducted ahead of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas meeting, it was found that BSP would likely wait until the end of next year before raising interest rates due to the current patchy economic recovery and downturn. of inflation. Read more

STRONG POINTS

** The Philippines has secured a loan to purchase an additional 40 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, as it aims to fully immunize at least 54 million people, or nearly half of the country’s population by the end of the year. Read more

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields increased 2.1 basis points to 6.336%

** The main losers of the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kl (.KLSE) index include: Press Metal Aluminum Holdings Bhd (PMET.KL) down 2% and Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SIPL.KL) down 1.9 %

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Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bangalore; edited by Richard Pullin

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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